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060816 NIU QuarkNet 001

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FINAL: Distinguished research physics professor Dhiman Chakraborty of Aurora, IL, is a part of the QuarkNet program, a professional teacher development program that works to involve high school teachers and their students in state-of-the-art research while they work together at a nearby university. Chakraborty feels the program gives the students a sense of how basic research is used in common applications. “Maybe they aren’t thinking of physics as a career necessarily,” Chakraborty said, “but they are able to see technology being utilized that is also used in the everyday life. “ Chakraborty adds that the work helps grow an appreciation of what it takes to do “real science.” “This is not a ‘guided tour,',” Chakraborty said. “It’s hands-on and they discover things on their own.” He finds it personally rewarding to see the students come in “green” and then learn as they go about their research. “They are very bright,” Chakraborty said. “I’m not sure I was as bright at that age. If the next batch of citizens looks like that, then we have a good future ahead.”

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